Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Vasilii Semenovich Yanovskii papers, 1933-1989

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: BA#0509
Bib ID 6568341 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Yanovskii, Vasilii Semenovich, 1906-1989
Title Vasilii Semenovich Yanovskii papers, 1933-1989
Physical Description 19 linear feet (38 manuscript boxes)
Language(s) English , Russian .
Additional Description http://www.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/inside/projects/findingaids/scans/pdfs/ldpd_rbml_6568341.pdf

One folder in box 23 (medical) is restricted. The remainder of the collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.



The collection includes correspondence with publishers and literary figures; Yanovskii's diaries; drafts, manuscripts and typescripts of literary works by Yanovsky and others, subject files, photographs, records of interviews, and printed materials.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

One folder in box 23 (medical) is restricted. The remainder of the collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located on-site.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.

Collection was incorrectly marked as unprocessed. Link to PDF finding aid added, September 2019. kws

Revision Description

09/23/2019 Collection status was changed from unproccessed to processed. PDF finding aid was linked to the record and published. One folder with personal information was restricted by curator.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Adamovich, Georgiĭ Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Day, Dorothy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
I︠A︡novskiĭ, V. S. (Vasiliĭ S.), 1906-1989 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Vassily S. Yanovsky, an author and a physician was part of an early wave of Soviet emigres who came West in the 1920's. Dr. Yanovsky, an anesthesiologist, left the Soviet Union for Paris in 1927. He studied medicine at the Sorbonne and came to the United States in 1942. Yanovsky wrote two dozen books, including 20 novels. His works were published variously in Russian, Italian, French and English. At age 60 he began writing for English-language readers, and his major books of fiction were ''No Man's Time'' with a foreword by W. H. Auden (1967)''Of Light and Sounding Brass'' (1972) and ''The Great Transfer'' (1974). Critics grappled with - and praised - his often complex novels. In ''The Great Transfer'' Christopher Lehmann-Haupt said in The New York Times, the intricacies of the plot ''may sound impossibly farfetched and cumbersome'' but Dr. Yanovsky ''makes it float like a fairy tale. He squeezes his deepest spritual insights into sentences as innocent as the prose of Peter Rabbit.'' 'Spiritual and Metaphysical' One of his nonfiction books''The Dark Fields of Venus: From a Doctor's Log Book'' (1973), was based on journals he kept while working in venereal disease clinics. Another nonfiction work''Medicine, Science and Life'' he devoted to the philosophical foundation of medicine and the dilemmas of the medical profession. He also wrote short stories and, along with Helen Iswolsky, Anne Freemantle, Dorothy Day and Auden, was a founder of a 1940's literary magazine, The Third Hour. Late in life, he lived in New York City (Queens) with his wife and translator Isabella Levitin Yanovsky. He died of lymphoma in the age of 83.